Nov 18, 2013

Are You Prepared? Disaster Strikes on a Beautiful Sunny Fall Day in Central Illinois.

 On a beautiful bright and sunny fall day, my family and I were getting ready to leave a wonderful and inspiring Church service to head home.  My husband and son were deciding whether or not to take a drive out to practice for hunting season, when we exited the building.

Overly warm, humid 67 degree weather, bright sun, with lots of white fluffy clouds flying across the sky seems like a perfect Sunday.  Except for the increase of wind and a horrible, frightening sound off in the distance.  It sounded vaguely familiar but was far enough away that I could not quite figure out what it was.  The sky was much darker off that direction, but it didn't phase me much as we headed through the windy yet sunny morning to get in the car.

After arriving home and shooing the kids upstairs to
change out of their church clothes, my husband suddenly says "we aren't going anywhere - send the kids to the basement there is a tornado Warning"  - I looked outside at the bright sunny day, and had to ask "Tornado Watch or Warning?  Are you sure?"
After confirming that it was a Warning - the local Tornado Alarm started going off.

Kids and Dog were sent to the basement.  My husband and I quickly grabbed candles, flashlights, shoes and necessities and went downstairs just as the power went out in our home.
The wind picked up and it sounded loud and horrible outside, though still occasional peeks of sunlight through the small basement windows.

After the storms had finally went through, one of my girls refused to come out of the basement, she was too scared.  We were without power, but all safe from harm. Our home and trees were still standing and our family was all safe.

After calling around to check on friends and family - we sat to listen to the aftermath of the storm on our weather radio.  It was devastating to hear all the damage that had occurred around us, yet left us all so thankful that we were safe and together.

Now, today - the power is finally back on for us, but many tens of thousands still remain without power.  Dozens have lost their homes and everything they own.  Many have injured family or friends.

We are all as a family praying for those who have lost so much.  My son and his Boy Scout Troop are helping gather necessary items to donate to those in need.  So much devastation so close to home.

Is your family prepared?  I thought mine was.

1.  Emergency Supplies - We have emergency food and supplies - yet they were not easily located and in the best place in case of emergency.

2. Safe place  - we have a safe area of our basement, but it was cluttered and took some time to clear out.

3. Emergency plan of action - we have a plan in case we are every separated, thankfully we did not have to implement it - but we also plan to "practice" from time to time to make sure the kids know what to do in case something like this happens again.

4. Give Thanks ~ We are extremely thankful for our home, safe family and friends.

5. Help those in Need - we are implementing ways to help those who suffered from this tragic event.

**  How can you help?
 There are lots of area businesses, Scouts, organizations and individuals looking for ways to help the disaster victims.  If you would like to help in any way - please let me know - Many of Those families who have lost homes, have also lost everything they need - children have lost toys, clothing and more - families with no food, shelter, clothing, necessary items.

Suggested items to donate:  
Rakes,   Tools for cleanup - Garbage bags, garbage bins/cans, Blankets, Hand towels, bottled waters and drinks, Work Gloves,  Individually wrapped snacks and foods, Ready-to-eat foods and snacks, Diapers, Formula, Baby Food, Sippy Cups & Bottles, Toiletries, Money to purchase necessary clothing and items.

If you are willing and able to give - my family is collection donations of items and money to donate to those in need through both our Scout Troop and a local business partner of mine - Inspired Arts Academy -
Email me directly: Susan @ if you can help out!

and prayers are free and always welcome!


  1. This is horrible! I was in a tornado when i was 3 with my brother & my mother. We lost everything. a man called to say my brother's social security card was found 35 miles away! I'm glad you and your family are ok & everyone around your area are in my prayers.

    1. Thank you - this is not the first of this type of disaster we have survived unscathed, but each time the devastation is new and frightening - thanks for your prayers!

  2. Wow Susan...I happened to land on your blog tonight via somewhere but my God words can't even come out of my mouth to express the shock. I can't imagine what it would be like to have a tornado run through...we've had hurricanes and they weren't very pretty so I do know how scared you can get. I'm just so happy you were safe!

  3. Actually I forgot something. My ex was going to school in Rantoul, is that far from you? And for the 6 weeks we were there, we rented a little teeny tiny house not too far from the landlord who was one of the sweetest "grandpa" like men I've ever known. I remember the clouds getting really dark and there was a warning so we stayed at the landlord's house who had a basement. That was really scary. No one was hurt, it hit down at the school where my ex was going to which was about 5 minutes away. Those things are scary!

    1. I'm about an hour and a half East of Rantoul, near Peoria, IL
      Yeah, it was very scary - and the clean up is . . . well, there are no words to describe it. Our family is helping collect donations - our schools are collecting, we have teachers and students who are without homes or have family without homes - and the power company has sent hundreds more workers, trucks and supplies from all around the area to Morton to help get power back to all those who STILL are without power - it is one thing to see it on TV in another state/area, but to have it happen in our backyard - so to speak - just reaffirms how serious it is - and the Blessing of it all - MOST of those who lost homes - were at Church when it went through, otherwise they would have been inside their homes when they were destroyed - very scary!

Thanks for stopping by! Comments are always welcome!